The phrase "going to visit Dr. James Andrews" is a loaded one, for sure. It's basically a euphemism for "the pitcher in question needs major surgery." You might as well say that "the pitcher's elbow ligament is going to go to a farm, where it can run around a huge field and play with other elbow ligaments."
But every now and again, a visit to Dr. Andrews ends with something other than a final confirmation of what everybody fears. From Buster Olney of ESPN.com:
(Oakland A's pitcher) Brett Anderson will not have Tommy John surgery, after seeing Dr. James Andrews. Six weeks of rehab recommended; another eval in 3 weeks.
So while it's more of a "wait and see" than good news, it's certainly better news than if Dr. Andrews took a look and then told his assistant to cancel his 4:00 appointment. The A's have been devastated with injuries to their rotation his season, so if there's a chance that their prized lefty doesn't have to miss a season or two recovering from elbow surgery, surely the A's will take it.